Festivals Wednesday, January 18th

Glastonbury is moving 'to the Midlands' (and we're wildly speculating it'll be Herefordshire)

Festivals Wednesday, January 18th

Glastonbury is moving 'to the Midlands' (and we're wildly speculating it'll be Herefordshire)

Somerset to Herefordshire... that's about 100 miles, right?

Glastonbury founder Micheal Eavis has confirmed the festival will move to a new location under a new name in 2019 and, like good local journalists, we are giving ourselves permission to wildly speculate whether that site will be in Herefordshire.

Last year there was talk of Glastonbury relocating to Longleat in Wiltshire as the Eavis clan look to give Worthy Farm's muddy fields a rest. The deal, however, fell through.

Now, Eavis has told Glastonbury FM 2019's the festival will move to a site that's "halfway to the Midlands", around 100 miles from Worthy Farm.

Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the festival, took to Twitter to confirm plans for a Glastonbury pop-up at a not-yet-known location, but added Glastonbury itself will still be going ahead at its original site in Somerset too. 


She also confirmed the 2019 festival would be called The Variety Bazaar.

Herefordshire is currently home to 30-odd festivals of all shapes and sizes.

The Big Chill-sized hole has been partly filled the likes of El Dorado and Lakefest, both of which moved to Eastnor Castle near Ledbury in 2016. Also on the roll call is Hay Festival, the world famous literary festival; Nozstock, the boutique summer festival with a drum and bass flavour held near Bromyard; Ledbury Poetry Festival, the biggest poetry festival in the UK; and Borderlines Film Festival, one of the most determinedly rural and expansive film festivals in Europe.

As well as festivals and a food revolution, the 'shire is bidding to be the UK's City of Culture 2021 - the only bid led by a collective of arts and culture bodies, rather than local government.  

But no matter how hard we dream about the World's most high-profile music festival coming to our county the sad reality is our most likely location has ruled it out. 

"We have had no contact with Glastonbury," said David Littlewood, general manager of Eastnor Castle. "We have already got Lakefest and El Dorado and this year we have Cliff Richard and Michael Ball and Alfie Bow.

"The Big Chill, which was held here, had 40,000 people but Glastonbury has 170,000. We don't have time or space."

And some of those involved in organising music festivals in Herefordshire believe that even if the unlikely happens and Glasto somehow pitches up elsewhere in Herefordshire it won't have much of an impact. 

Rich Lovell, from the Down On The Farm Festival which takes place this year from August 11 to 13 in Abbey Dore, said: "I can't see it really affecting us, different time of year, different style of bands on the whole and they can never offer the intimacy and friendly nature of a smaller festival."

Pete Nosworthy, founder of the Bromyard based Nozstock, said it was up to Herefordshire festivals to attract an audience regardless of the competition. 

"You always have to be concerned over what is happening in the area but if your festival is good people will attend no matter what," he said. 

"If Glastonbury was held in Herefordshire it is still going to sell out to people all over the country. It would be great for the county to have something as big as that and would do more good than bad.

"I don't think it would make much difference to us as the tickets for Glastonbury sell really quickly but if they took months to sell it might make a difference.

"If it was announced there is nothing you can do about it so I would try to use it as a positive. Herefordshire would get more press because of it so I would be able to say 'if you can't get tickets for Glastonbury come to Nozstock'.

"My worry should be to make sure my product is good enough to sell out. If it does not I don't think blaming it on somebody else is the right thing to do."

This year Nozstock will be held from July 21 to 23. For more information about the festival click here


Headliners at this year's Glastonbury (June 21-25) will be Radiohead on the Pyramid Stage. More info at glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

Search for all of Herefordshire's festivals here

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